Scarlet Ibis Theme Analysis

Topics: James Hurst, Disability, The Scarlet Ibis Pages: 2 (521 words) Published: May 1, 2011
The Emotional Scarlet Ibis

“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, is a heart wrenching short story told by a young boy and his little brother, who has Down syndrome. During the story, the older brother talks about his thoughts and actions toward his little brother, Doodle. There are many lessons to be learned about human nature, for instance: we might do the right thing for the wrong reason, when people’s expectations are low they are often proven wrong, and finally in the most unexpected places one may find the most admirable of qualities. People often do the right thing for the wrong reasons. From the outside looking in, other people think that the older brother is being kind to Doodle for Doodle’s personal gain, but it is actually the other way around. He was being kind to Doodle for his own sake. At one point the older brother admits with remorse, “I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.” The older brother wants Doodle to be normal, so he teaches him how to first stand and then walk, run, swim, paddle, and climb. Even Doodle knows that his older brother is only doing this because he doesn’t want to “haul him around all the time”. But, their parents and other

people that know them think that he was doing these kind acts out of brotherly love for Doodle. Another theme is that often times when not much is expected out of someone they set out to prove the doubtful person wrong. Doodle is not expected to live when he was born, but he somehow survives. Most people think he would not be right in the head, but he is more intelligent than his brother in some ways. He seems to balance his physical disabilities with his imagination and determination. Doodle was not expected to be able to stand, but he not only stood, he walked, ran, and paddled. Although he could not do these things with the natural ease of a normally formed person, through pure will, Doodle does his very best. Many people do not push themselves to their limit, and Doodle pushed himself past...
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